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The Importance of Technology in Business



Technology in Business

There is a simple reason as to why technology is so important in business. Technology saves time and effort by enhancing your processes and production within the organisation. Numerous factors determine the importance of technology in business because the role it plays is crucial for operations to run effectively and efficiently.

The corporate world cannot undermine the benefits technology provides to businesses as most of the tasks today depend on the latest technological developments. To keep the workflow streamlined, businesses need to implement advanced technology and tools that tech-developers have designed specifically for their business operations.


The following series illustrates the fact technology is no longer a want but a need in business today.

Technology and …

  • Business

  • Efficiency

  • Safety

  • Employees

  • Knowledge

  • Growth

  • Expansion

  • Innovation

Technology in the Field

Technology Helps Improve Communication

Advances in technology have led to the birth of many new methods of electronic communication, such as social networking websites and video conferences. The increase of electronic communication has helped to eliminate time and distance as obstacles to communication. This has been beneficial to many parts of society, including business, education, and international relationships.

For businesses, technology has increased the flow of communication within the workplace. Electronic communication methods used in the workplace include email, voicemail, video conferences, online newsletters, instant messages, and the Intranet. The Intranet, a company exclusive website, can be a great way for you, as a manager, to obtain feedback from your workers. Pearson Education, the leading publisher in educational books, recommends setting up a gripe site on your company's Intranet to obtain constructive criticism from your employees.

Education

Technology has improved the field of cultural education by giving children the opportunity to speak with kids from different cultures. By interacting with people of other cultures through computer-mediated communication, such as instant messages and emails, people can learn first-hand about other cultures. Computer-mediated communication also helps to make research more convenient by giving people access to a large amount of information while at work, home or school classroom.


International Relationships

Electronic communication has improved international relationships by making global communication more accessible. Technology has helped to create awareness of global issues by increasing the amount of international news. For businesses, electronic communication has created new opportunities for expanding businesses internationally. An important part of international business involves understanding the cultures of other countries. This may involve research and culture education classes.


Warning

While technology can be greatly beneficial to communication, electronic communication can also become an obstacle to effective communication. By increasing access to communication, technology has created the problem of information overload. Information overload occurs when information gets communicated at a faster rate than what you can process. Ways to decrease risk of information overload include combining smaller messages into one message and selecting an appropriate method of communication. For instance, if you have an important message, using your phone, rather than email, helps to ensure your message will not get lost in the mix of other communications.


Technology Improves Efficiency

Computers and technology allow for faster processing of data, easier retrieval of information, and in some cases - automation can reduce or replace physical employees. When people perform tasks by hand, it can be time consuming and full of human errors. When technology is used for repetitive operations, mistakes are reduced or eliminated, and the time it takes to complete the task is greatly reduced.

Consider how credit cards are accepted as payment with modern technology compared to the past: once upon a time, employees had to take a physical impression of the credit card with a little hand tool that pressed the card against carbon paper and transferred the image onto a piece of paper. Today, credit cards are swiped through a small card reader and payment is made. Orders are processed much faster, making it possible for employees to service more customers in the same amount of time.

In addition to making processes quicker, technology also makes it easy to keep information up to date. Instead of searching through a room of file cabinets and trying to guess how information was stored in order to update a customer address, a few clicks of the mouse and can pull up a customer file from a database. What used to take several minutes to an hour can now be done instantly.

Technology reduces risk and safeguards your business.

As technology is an integral part of business operations and with cybersecurity risks at an all-time high many organization are utilizing their security platforms beyond traditional applications to improve operations and increase efficiency.

In today’s digital age, it is crucial for businesses to have streamlined, effective and intelligent security management systems that ensure sustained safety for an organization. And it is just as important to make the most of the time and money invested in security software as it is in the security system itself. The right software platform can be a workforce multiplier for organizations who invest in it, improving organizations’ efficiency and reducing the number of required resources.

Here are three ways that security technology improves business operations and business continuity in the face of new and unpredictable challenges:


Mitigating Organizational Risk

Many corporations consist of large groups of close-proximity buildings that host employees along with sensitive customer and financial data, which can lead to a range of challenges concerning security tactics. Organizations must monitor a variety of risks, including insider threats, natural disasters, terror attacks, cyberattacks and theft of intellectual property. Adding to this growing data collection and analysis, corporations must know about activities taking place in the surrounding areas near campus locations, because in critical situations, it is necessary that potential events are quickly recognized so the correct responses can be deployed.


Through the use of a security software platform that operates through an open architecture platform using a browser-based interface to share information, a common operating picture is created across security systems, building management systems, and IT systems – all of which are major components to keeping business operations running smoothly and securely in the face of an unexpected security event.


Meeting Compliance Standards

A Converged Security and Information Management (CSIM) platform seamlessly incorporates new software with a company’s specific compliance standards to make the organization run more efficiently and securely. By leveraging existing security infrastructure on a global scale, corporations will be able to reduce costs, mitigate risk and meet compliance requirements.


Recent global cyber events underscore how important this is. In 2018, it was announced that UK companies could face fines of up to $20 million or four percent of global turnover if they fail to protect themselves from cyberattacks. WannaCry has impacted about 300,000 computers and 200,000 end users worldwide, including the National Health Service hospitals of England and Scotland. During the attack, ambulances had to be diverted, critical surgeries were cancelled, and care teams were left scrambling to access patient data.


This points to the fact that an adequate cybersecurity platform needs more than just cyber software, but a way to quickly respond and take the appropriate action, and that requires a converged software capability to analyse and react in real time to threats.

Overcoming Logistical Challenges

While managing crises can be challenging for all organizations, it is particularly challenging for organizations with non-traditional structures, specifically matrix and projectized organization structures. These structures are often seen in law firms, consulting practices and technology companies. The lack of a clear hierarchy, a focus on projects and cases rather than functional areas, and the mission of these organizations can interfere with the chain of command often used to manage crises in organizations.

This decentralized structure can also offer substantial benefits to global organizations if their structure is considered in crisis management documentation, training, and exercises. Be sure to walk through case studies exploring best practices for implementing crisis management programs in a matrix or projectized organization structure.

Reducing Business Costs

Security technology offers many ways to streamline operations, leading to a more cost-effective and efficient business. With a streamlined intelligent security management system, your company can see a significant return on investment both financially and in terms of staff resources from a converged security platform. When organizations with a large physical footprint are empowered, they can consolidate their security data management into a single user interface.


When organizations use CSIM to maintain security operations, they can experience up to a 66-percent reduction in response time and a 50-percent reduction in false alarms.


As organizations seek to improve business continuity and streamline their overall operations, a converged security platform can be a valuable tool in minimizing risk, logistical challenges and business costs through correlating and making sense of data to provide the best steps forward for your organization.

Technology increases employee quality, efficiency, and loyalty.

Ever heard the saying “happy wife, happy life?” Well in business “Happy employee, happy entity”

I know it seems cheesy, however if you really think about it, high employee turnover, unproductive employees, demotivated business developers or sales staff all means that your business cannot grow. Your sales and client related frontline are your engine in the organisation. They herd in your clients and build those relationships that sustain your business. What does this have to do with technology? Well I will give you a practical example. A story if you will that is based on real experiences. I spoke to the business developers in a company. Standing outside chatting during lunch as employees do, I heard endless complaints centred around the pressure put on sales to meet a target but the issues preventing them from truly unleashing the beast. Some of the more important ones were that the client database and contact lists were difficult to access and worse yet to view, needing complete formatting. They were not completely sure what solutions they could sell. What exactly were the products or services being offered? They knew it was a technology for a learning system and that the company offered training material but what were the solutions? What subjects in training was offered? What custom training could be done and were there already existing projects for the developers?


So, if you really think about it these could have been solved by the sales agents or business developers taking initiative and finding the answers themselves. Sending an email or setting a meeting. Well they did. They still did not get a full grasp as the developers and consultants could not really communicate it.

Another example. A new employee started in the firm and was not quite sure where to get access to certain software and what was already in development, developed and still pending development. The manager at the time was not exactly the type to hold their hand and show them around. Again, communication on the subject could have been the solution but it was not. As mentioned, the manager was not big into communicating and sharing his work.


So, in both situations an ordinary approach, the one we all learn in business. The approach of communication, take initiative, ask questions, etc. Well that did not work. However, with technology the entire issue could have been resolved. Having an automatic database that was accessible to staff. Setting access levels and having an updated spreadsheet that did not need manual formatting but could be downloaded and saved from the database itself would have helped. The sales team would have their information on items offered along with the costs and suggested quotes. The new guy would have been able to stay informed, rather than wasting time searching for the information. The system could have managed both teams and provided information be it software access for the new guy or product information for the sales team.


So, what does this mean and why is it important to keeping staff happy? Well when sales feel like they can’t do their job properly they stress, they become less effective and each month they run the scenario of “if I don’t reach my target and get let go, it would be unfair since no one gave me the tools.” The new guy would not have resented his manager and spent so much unproductive hours fighting for the tools needed to just do his job.


So, providing your staff with the right tools be it a centralised system of information, the right laptop for their position or otherwise is a great benefit and not a pain for the business. When an employee knows they everything they need and no excuse not to do their job, they will always do their job.

Technology grants access to a knowledge base

Knowledge Management (KM) has become the key factor for the success of all organizations. ICTs are technologies which facilitate the management to share knowledge and information. Thus, ICTs have a prominent role on Knowledge Management initiatives. In the current business environment, the implementation of Knowledge Management projects has become easier with the help of technological tools. The value of Knowledge Management is more when made available to the right people at the right time. Thus, knowledge sharing is facilitated through information and communication technologies including computers, telephones, e-mail, databases, data-mining systems, search engines, video-conferencing equipment and many more. The purpose of this study is to identify the significant role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in Knowledge Management (KM) initiatives that lead to organizational effectiveness. This paper moves towards an understanding of the overall importance of ICTs to knowledge management that paves way to achieve organizational effectiveness. Finally, an integrated model linking ICTs, Knowledge Management processes and organizational effectiveness is done and thereby the relationship between ICTs and KM processes is conceptualized.

Technology Increases Employee Engagement

There is no denying the fact: employee engagement is a serious game-changer for businesses, regardless of size or scale. In a highly complex market, fraught with rising attrition rates, retaining employees is critical. Add to that a young, vibrant millennial workforce who are hungry for various facilities, benefits, and means of engagement, above and beyond only compensation. This is why improving employee engagement is integral to a company’s culture, as well as its long-term profitability.

The top three HR priorities for an organisation should be: increasing workplace productivity, increasing employee engagement and increasing employee retention.

Research, which surveyed 500 HR professionals across the UK, found that a further 86% of HR professionals agreed that employee engagement would improve if their workforce had the technology to recognise one another on an ongoing basis.

But when it comes to connecting employees, HR has an even bigger obstacle to overcome with an increase of disparate and mobile workforces. Indeed, data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows that the number of UK workers who work remotely continues to see a steady increase year on year. In addition, Google estimated 3 billion people globally perform work away from a desk every day across a variety of industries.

With more and more people moving away from the traditional work at the office approach and the constant need for employees from upper management to the entry level staff needing to stay connected and informed we see a clear need for technology as it becomes the best opportunity for business to keep staff connected, and engaged. Doing so with office wide recognition and engagement programs. Involving employees rather than commanding. After all the best generals lead from the front.

Technology helps explore new sectors of growth

As an analyst I have been asked if technology has peaked, will there be anything new, and has technology reach its summit. I have spent time thinking on this and looking at new trends, current, old and predicted solutions. The answer is no, but more importantly it is an answer that warrant a better understanding and some perspective. I believe our technology and the direction in which we move with it is determined much like economics. Supply and demand. People demand a way to record and evaluate accounting data, we supply sage. As such we can never really reach the summit for two reasons. While we maintain demands there will always be a need to supply and solve. For every problem there will be a technological solution. While the technology might not change in concept, it will change in efficiency and quality. Think of Media. We started with pictures on a cave, went to radios, then black and white, then extraordinarily little colour and now we live in an age where 1080 resolution is as common as a sneeze or cough.

So, when you truly think about technology has been the sole reason for human supremacy and as such, we can apply the same thought to business. When you look at business the ones that flourish and echo through the halls of the internet reaching billions across the globe are the ones that innovate, adopt, and embrace new technology. The ones that thrive are the ones that change something as simple as a website landing page from code used in 2010 to the code used in 2020.

That simple change amounting to the business equivalent of keeping up with the jones’ is what makes the difference. However, the truly spectacular organisations are the ones that dare to reinvent the wheel. Sometimes a concept of what you want is all you need. Someone else can build but the idea is the spark that ignites a new growth.

Technology in Business is Necessary for Expansion

Technology and automation are such an integral part of our life that we often do not think about the impact it has. From our mobile phones, to the car we drive, technology is ever pervasive. In the field of business, words like automation, machine learning, artificial intelligence has become common. Most businesses today (a) have some idea about what it entails and (b) understand that it is important to embrace technology and automation.

The question then is, how can business growth be impacted by technology and does it even make sense to adopt it. Consider something as basic as uploading a photo with your friends on your Facebook profile. If your friends are on Facebook, the social networking site uses machine learning to suggest the names of the people in the photo that you may want to tag. In the end it makes the uploading process simpler, faster, and easier. Technology and automation can play a similar role in a business.

You might then ask what does expansion entail and how can technology facilitate it?


The Following highlight some key points when thinking of expansion:


Diversification

The use of technology serves the purpose of opening doors to different types of people globally in the workplace together with different perspectives to projects. Diversification is an essential function that a business must have to be able to compete in the global market. Through diversification a business will expand in different ways including opening opportunities for the business to expand and operate globally.

A new approach of business gives the institution a competitive edge which is beneficial for growth and increased sales.


Efficient interactions and Information Storage

Safety and accessibility of a company’s information is important. The prospects generated and their use for the company needs to be stored safely and should be accessible to people who need it. This information will be used by workers in the office as reference material to sell company’s products

Salespeople use this information to teach new and existing clients about the business and its products. Other business executives need to use this information even outside regular business hours.

Accessibility of business information is particularly important when it comes to selling its products. So, technology serves a good purpose to ensure this information is safe for future use. Deploying IT systems plays an important role in expanding companies.


Mobility

The use of technology in a business allows more movement of people. Business partners do not need to meet in one room to discuss essential matters concerning the business. The use of video conferencing has made the operation of business easier in the following ways:

· It has enabled businesses all over the world to interact with one another.

· Businesses save time, expenses, and space

· People can set up virtual meetings and distribute data without the need to be in the same room.

· With technology businesses can establish a global presence at a fraction of the cost.

Technology Brings innovation into Being

Technology is a powerful driver of both the evolution and proliferation of innovation.

The simple truth is that with technology it is easier for us to take our ideas, concepts, challenges, solutions, goals and then map them out. When we speak about technology driving innovation, we’re talking about the choice to ride a horse and carriage or drive an off road porsche. The difference between using excel spreadsheets and formulas or a pen and paper napkin.

We improve and grow; we learn and create from our experiences. We look at a plant waving to cool us down then decide a fan would work better. This means that when we use technology and the more, we use technology. We inherently find ways to use it better or make it better. We started managing schools with paper forms and a pen, we introduced filing and now we have School management systems that can place digital orders and contact parents directly. In the past when a child was sick, they would need to stay home, but now they have the option to still take part and learn from home. This means that kids who traditionally needed a special school and facilities or required home-schooling has the chance to interact with people in a classroom. We used to be confined to the people we knew in our area, yet now we meet people on different continents. This growth in technological experiences is spurred on by two factors. The desire or need we have for a solution and the exposure to existing solutions. When you have used a pen and paper your whole life, MS office seems like a massive technological achievement. Yet when you use MS office you see there are so many more applications either better than it or that you can apply it to.


So what are the key points to keep in mind?

  • · Innovation is a primary source of competitive advantage for companies in essentially all industries and environments and drives efficiency, productivity, and differentiation to fill a higher variety of needs.

  • · Technology builds upon itself, enabling innovative approaches within the evolution of technology.

  • · Technological advances, particularly in communication and transportation, further innovation.

  • · By leveraging these models, businesses and institutions can exercise some foresight in ascertaining return on investment as their technologies mature.

  • · Companies must prioritize their ability to assess their technological needs, particularly as they may relate to achieving optimal efficiency and productivity.

  • · Companies looking to stay ahead of the competition should gather data internally and externally to facilitate forecasting and the crafting of implementation technology strategies.

  • · In addition to noting new technological advances, the assessment process is also heavily internal and necessitates that companies isolate their technological strengths and weaknesses.

  • · Business technology management (BTM) provides a bridge between previously established tools and standards within a business environment and the newer, more operationally efficient tools and standards technological progress provides.

  • · Aligning technologies with current business initiatives and strategies is the most basic way for a business to remain competitive in the current technological climate.

  • · Companies that can improve on alignment to synchronize the technological landscape internally (often through researching and developing innovations in-house) can achieve foresight and long-term benefits through forecasting future technological necessities.

  • · BTM has four dimensions: process, organization, information, and technology.

  • · Effectively employing these four dimensions of BTM provides companies the potential to project technological trends and synchronize them with their strategies.

  • · Sourcing new technology involves the scouting and researching of new technological potential and the eventual transfer of these technologies to a company.

  • · Technology scouting is based around identifying new technologies, organizing, and channelling data on these technologies, and assessing the ease and value of implementing them.

  • · Companies capitalize on the successful scouting of a new technology by sourcing it from the appropriate party for their own use.

  • · Tech transfer drawbacks primarily involve the cost of licensing patents and training employees to effectively use the new technology.

  • · Some organizations, such as Source forge, Wikipedia, and Boundless, provide knowledge and technology for free in an open source strategy.

The information presented in this series of articles explains the need for technology but also elaborates the difficulty involved when adopting, sustaining, and using new technology. As an entity that seeks permanent, sustainable growth and the best for your organisation. Look for those who can help you do the heavy lifting, guide and be your partner in this process. Do it right the first time with the right partner. Partner in innovation. Look for more with https://www.digidmn.com/

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